The Christendom Crusaders are National Championship-bound again, defeating Duke University, Susquehanna College, and others to clinch its third-straight trip to the NSCRO 7s Rugby National Championship.
After the most successful 15s campaign in program history this past fall, resulting in a trip to the NSCRO 15s National Championship later this month, the Crusaders entered this weekend ready to make another statement. Since 2017, the Crusaders have earned a trip to the NSCRO 7s National Championship each year, winning the title in 2017 in a thrilling overtime match. With a roster filled with new faces, there was no guarantee the team could pull it off yet again.
Traveling to the campus of Washington & Lee, the Crusaders started Saturday against UNC Greensboro in pool play, quickly rolling over them 54-0. The next game against rival Duke University came to a similar result, with the Crusaders only giving up one try and ultimately winning 26-5, earning them a trip to the quarterfinals.
In the next round, Christendom blanked Roanoke College 31-0. In the semifinals, the Crusaders faced Duke yet again, and defeated them even more handily 24-0. All four key wins earned them a trip to the finals against Susquehanna College, the toughest opponent of the tournament.
Susquehanna was the #10 team in NSCRO in 15s play for the fall, losing only one game during their season. In the first half of the final, Christendom quickly jumped out on top 12-0, before Susquehanna scored a try of their own, narrowing the lead to 12-7. In the second half, Susquehanna grabbed another try, taking the lead with only minutes remaining. The Crusaders refused to go down, however, with Jon Messing scoring his fifth try of the tournament to hand Christendom a 19-14 win and another National Championship berth.
Over the course of the five games, Christendom outscored their opponents 154-19, with Vince Duhig and Jon Messing leading the way with five tries each, following closely by Will Arnold with three. Duhig also finished the day with a 70% conversion rate on his kicks, making 16/23 conversions.
Christendom joins a field featuring The Claremont Colleges and the University of Denver, with four teams yet to be decided for the NSCRO 7s National Championship this coming June.
Christendom rugby now has two National Championship runs to compete in this season — a momentous accomplishment for a program that continues to shine as one of the top rugby programs in the country.
Help Christendom make its way to both National Championships by donating today at https://www.christendom.edu/gift/donation-page-athletics/. Please write "Rugby Nationals Donation" in the comment box.